LOVE IS LOVE by Michael Genhart


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review


A heartfelt affirmation of queer love.

A first-person text presents several children, all wearing rainbow-heart T-shirts, grappling with others’ homophobia. It then documents their eventual movement toward pride in their families, simply by talking through their hurts and then arriving at the conclusion that “Love is the same. Wherever you live. Whoever you are. And whomever you love.” Even as the different children talk about being teased for having gay parents (the word “gay” is used as a default or umbrella term, with no instances of words such as “queer,” “lesbian,” “bisexual,” etc.) or feeling otherwise targeted, the illustrations also start to show kites in the distance, first red, then orange, then yellow, and so on. These kites end up forming a heart in rainbow colors in the sky when the various children and their families come together at the end of the book. Before arriving at this point, it’s often quite difficult to follow the shifts between characters, as the illustrations pair the text with diverse children in clearly different locales without indicating that a new child is the speaker. Obviously intending inclusion, the images seem to attempt both universality and specificity at the same time, to frustrating effect. There’s no story to speak of, but the clear message is underscored by extensive backmatter with conversation prompts and further affirmation of queer families and identity.

A strong message weakly presented. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 16th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-9397-7513-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Little Pickle Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2018


ChildrenBENJI, THE BAD DAY, AND ME by Sally J. Pla
by Sally J. Pla
ChildrenHOT, HOT ROTI FOR DADA-JI by F.  Zia
by F. Zia


ChildrenFAMILIES by Shelley Rotner
by Shelley Rotner
ChildrenHEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES by Lesléa Newman
by Lesléa Newman
ChildrenDADDY, PAPA, AND ME by Lesléa Newman
by Lesléa Newman